Skip to comments.The Air Farce One Report -- A Classic Case Of Misdirection
Posted on 05/09/2009 4:30:54 AM PDT by Beckwith
A White House military aide who authorized an Air Force flyover of New York that caused panic among some people in the city resigned on Friday.
Louis Caldera said in a resignation letter to Obama that the controversy over the mission -- a photo shoot of a jumbo jet used as Air Force One with the Statue of Liberty in the background -- made it impossible for him to lead the White House Military Office (WHMO).
White House officials said the flight was designed to update the official photo of the plane, known as Air Force One when the president is aboard.
The flight over lower Manhattan for a photo shoot scared some New Yorkers who remembered the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 involving hijacked airliners that destroyed the World Trade Center. Many people panicked and evacuated office buildings when the planes flew over -- as low as 150 feet.
Caldera had approved the mission. His resignation came on the same day Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a letter to Senator John McCain that the photo shoot cost U.S. taxpayers as much as $357,000.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs (Gibbels) said Obama had accepted the resignation. Obama had been described as furious when the incident occurred on April 27 and demanded a review.
Isn't that tidy -- Louis Caldera is responsible -- but responsible for what?
Louis Caldera is responsible for "approving" the flight. No need to look any further. Caldera is responsible -- off with his head -- move on!
However, none of this answers the key question -- WHO REQUESTED THE FLIGHT?
Start with Caldera's boss. Who does Caldera work for -- and who does that guy work for -- and who does that guy work for. Somewhere up that food chain is the genius whose brainstorm is responsible for this clusterflop -- that person is the "Requestor" or "Initiator" -- that's the guy that is really responsible.
When the flight was a "Go," the WHMO Deputy Director sent an email to the Director, saying the flight would receive some "local press," but the White House shouldn't catch any questions about it. The email also suggested notifying Jim Messina and Robert Gibbels.
The flight then flew into history.
The White House (read Rhambo) investigated the flight and The White House Counsel's Office (Gregory Craig) produced a report, "Internal Review Concerning April 27, 2009 Air Force One Flight." (It's interesting this report uses the "Air Force One" designation, as the aircraft is only referred to in this way when POTUS is on board. Is Craig suggesting that Obama was on the flight?)
The report (I could access only the first 3 pages of the .pdf file for some reason) says that the Deputy Director of the WHMO "suggested that when the plan was finalized, the Director MAY want to inform White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Jim Messina (not the singer). The Deputy Director believed that Mr. Messina would want notice because the plan involved the use of the Presidential aircraft and because it was unusual."
Note, the focus of this report is on the WHMO, the initial flight planning and the subsequent processes and reviews that resulted in the flight. Nowhere in the "official" report is there any mention of the person or persons who initiated the request for the flight mission that was ultimately "approved" by Caldera.
And, it doesn't answer the secondary question -- WHO WAS ON BOARD? Any honest investigation would provide the flight and passenger manifests. Neither of these are addressed in the report (whitewash).
A Reuters news article said the report of the review, mentioned above, said ultimately Caldera did not notify relevant White House officials about the flyover in advance.
"When asked why he failed to do so, he did not offer a coherent explanation. He stated that it was not a conscious decision -- he did not intend not to notify them," it said. "Instead, he suggested that it may have been an oversight."
An oversight? I just find that statement to be unbelievable.
Caldera had previously apologized for the April 27 incident, saying, "Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision (approving the flight). While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it's clear that the mission created confusion and disruption. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused."
And like a good little Obot, Caldera fell on his sword.
The White House Military Office (2,300 managers and staff) knew about the flight, and so did the Department of Defense, and Andrews Air Force Base, and the Air Mobility Command, and the Presidential Airlift Group, and the 89th Airlift Wing, and the Federal Aviation Administration and air traffic control representatives in the New York are, and "federal, state and local authorities."
It seems everyone in the government knew about the "secret flight" except Obama and his senior White House advisers. Sgt. Schultz ("I know nothing") would be proud.
Of course Obama was furious when the incident occurred. It hit the fan the day before his 100th day's celebration and victory speech, dramatically affecting the news.
But he knew nothing about it -- nor did any other "responsible" person in and around the White House -- just Caldera, even though the report contains several mentions of Jim Messina, whose boss is Rhambo -- and Rhambo's boss is Obama -- that's two degrees of separation.
WHO WAS ON THE PLANE? (And how much did they pay?)
oh, a little Lincoln bedroom action, huh?
What about the reports that NYC police were warned by the WH not to make the flyover public, and that’s why they couldn’t tell people on the ground beforehand?
Federal officials knew that sending two fighter jets and Air Force One to buzz ground zero and Lady Liberty might set off nightmarish fears of a 9/11 replay, but they still ordered the photo-op kept secret from the public.
In a memo obtained by NY’s CBS Channel 2, the Federal Aviation Administration’s James Johnston said the agency was aware of “the possibility of public concern regarding DoD (Department of Defense) aircraft flying at low altitudes” in an around New York City. But they demanded total secrecy from the NYPD, the Secret Service, the FBI and even the mayor’s office and threatened federal sanctions if the secret got out.
A cryptic, classified alert — obtained by The Post yesterday — written by James Johnston, a high-ranking Federal Aviation Administration official in Washington, predicted the fear and confusion.
“Due to the possibility of public concern regarding DOD [Department of Defense] aircraft flying at low levels, coordination with federal, state and local law-enforcement agencies, emergency-operations centers and aviation units has been accomplished,” the e-mail said.
I read on another thread a few days ago that the call sign of the plane was Venus 1. This was posted by somebody whose husband or other family member (don’t recall) was an air traffic controller. I have no idea if this is accurate. The thread included a discussion of call signs and identifying information on the planes, and there was some discussion of other flights (such as Senatorial jaunts). I didn’t post on it, so I can’t find it now.
However, if this is true, would “Venus 1” give some indication as to who was aboard?
Just wondering, if Air-force one is on loan , what about the nuclear football? Who gets to play with that on weekends?
WHO WAS ON THE PLANE???
Someone from theDepartment of Defense, Andrews Air Force Base, the Air Mobility Command,the Presidential Airlift Group, the 89th Airlift Wing, and the FAA and air traffic control could make a lot of money to drip this story out.
I bet that is why Obama made this “classified” because it would be criminal if someone leaked who was on the plane.
There is a movement request form floating around somewhere that has the “who knew what and when” info.
It's not available?
But who was on Air Farce One? Now THAT is TOP SECRET!
I bet its the Mother in law.
Any one know her birthday?
This was probably initiated by the first lady, and that why its so secretive.
And I agree. I hope somebody with the manifest leaks it to the free media.
This IS typical Obama....pure drama..showtime...whatever...
And the big news of the week was???? Dijon and the hamburg!! and the Case of the $500 sneakers.
The only GOOD thing is that they can't BRAG about the trip!!!
“Venus One” sure does sound like “ladies day on Air Force One.”
Where was Michelle, the WH social director, the mother in law, Oprah, etc?
It would just be SWEET if this was a payola junket. There is no way this manifest can be kept secret. Too many people have the list, including military people.
... As for the F-16 that accompanied the VC-25-A, some people have noticed that the bright-red-tailed plane that accompanied the 747 as it banked above New York Harbor looked very much like the markings of the famed Tuskegee Airmen.
The plane in that photo certainly resembles the F-16s of the 100th Fighter Squadron attached to the 187th Alabama Air National Guard, which carry those distinctive colors as a tribute to the famed Tuskegee Airmen.
It is a long haul from Alabama to Washington to New York and back again, and there are other Regular Air Force units far closer to both DC and New York that could have flown escort for the President's plane if escort was their actual duty. Perhaps the plane from the 160thif that is indeed what it waswas there as part of the photo op. Captain Cambarella, PAO of the of the 187th has so far declined a request for comment.
More at Confederate Yankee
Because then we'd have to admit we knew where Osama Bin Laden is?
(I mean, what better way to pick the next target than aerial reconnaissance?)
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